Port truck drivers and warehouse workers picketing during the last week at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will end their actions this afternoon with a march through south Los Angeles to the site of California Cartage, an employer who has engaged in misclassification and other labor law violations.
Striking drivers and warehouse workers were set to be joined by labor, community, elected and faith leaders as they walked through the streets of the Wilmington neighborhood towards the Port of LA, where Cal Cartage is located. It is the culmination of five days of picketing and protests that began May 31 when workers launched massive unfair practice strikes against not only Cal Cartage, but XPO Logistics and Intermodal Bridge Transport (IBT) as well.
The strike is the 13th in the past two years highlighting injustice of the working model used by many port trucking firm employers. That includes misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” and engaging in wage theft. And those on the job have had enough!
“I have spent my entire driving career as a port truck driver for Intermodal Bridge Transport,” said Daniel Uaiana, a port truck driver. “I am here today to fight for our rights, for what we rightfully deserve as American citizens. It’s important to set an example for the next generation, and fight today so that they can receive the benefits we all deserve.”
The years-long effort has definitely yielded some positive results. Fred Potter, Director of the Teamsters’ Port Division, said in an interview with the American Journal on Transportation that the union has making progress as both the state of California and the National Labor Relations Board find against companies who have illegally misclassified drivers as independent contractors.
He noted that more than 40 percent of Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor trucking companies are now W-2 companies treating their drivers as employees, paying them wages and benefits and providing workers compensation in case of injury.
But there is still more to be done. The Teamsters urge those seeking to end injustice on the job for port drivers and warehouse workers to sign this petition to demand the ports of LA and Long Beach stop big business and Wall Street interests from exploiting these hard-working American workers. Only then will there be true justice on the job.